My Parents Are Insane

If you do not know me, I am just about as Type A as they come. I live a rigidly organized, highly competitive life and I am very concerned with time management. I dislike lazy people, which I know is a very blunt thing to say, but it is the truth. I do not sugar coat my statements; if anything, I add vinegar to them. I am a high-strung, unsatisfied young adult and I operate with an unrealistic sense of urgency and need for control. I am impatient, so extremely impatient. I hate waiting in lines at restaurants so tremendously that I will literally call them on my phone, while I stand in line, so that I can cut everyone in front of me and save time ─ even if it is only 30 seconds. I probably sound like a raging lunatic, but I promise I am not. In order to explain how I developed from a little girl into the real-life neurotic and neat freak Monica Geller, I need to explain my upbringing.

My family is the stereotypical American one, meaning both of my parents are cisgender and heterosexual. They raised my younger brother and I in a strict and structured no-tolerance household, where back-talking resulted in corporal punishment. They insisted on private school education from kindergarten through twelfth grade, hoping it would provide me with an advanced tutelage and a safer, sheltered environment ─ and, to be honest, it did.

The list does not end here; it goes on much further. On school nights, I was not allowed to go out with any of my friends. I had to hand over my cellphone to my parents before going to bed, so that I was not able to sacrifice my beauty sleep for late night teenage texting or highly promiscuous snapchats. My bed time on a school night was 10 o’clock sharp unless I needed to study; in which case, I was forced by my parents to remain awake until I knew material better than I knew myself. Eventually, my eyelids would succumb to the mental and physical exhaustion and slowly shut until one or both of my parents would slam something against my desk to jerk me awake. Tiredness was not a valid excuse in my family.

Now, let me tell you about my school-free days. Most adolescents love their weekends. They love the freedom, the excitement, and the spontaneity. I was definitely not one of those kids. My weekends were no less full of rules and regulations than the other five days of the week. If all of my classwork was completed, then my parents allowed me to spend my Saturdays and Sundays with my friends; however, for safety purposes, I was required to text them when I was traveling to one particular location and when I arrived at said location. I had to text them roughly every hour in order to ensure them that I was both alive and well, instead of dead in some ditch. Most importantly, I had to comply to my very rigid curfew of 9 o’clock ─ that had absolutely no wiggle room. If you think I did not try to push my luck, you would be wrong. The joy that my parents received from grounding me for arriving after curfew was insurmountable and absolutely humiliating. One time, they literally high-fived each other after giving me the grounding of a lifetime.

At this point, I am sure you are thinking that my parents are crazy, Hitler-Mussolini-Stalin-crazy ─ and you would be right. They are absolutely insane. It is a wonder how I turned out so normal without becoming the 2007 head-shaving Britney Spears. To tell you the truth, I do not blame you. I wonder the same thing myself. In most cases, households operating under iron fists produce rebellious children with a particular knack for defiance. Somehow, my controlling parents’ continuous dissatisfaction with my academic prowess, musical talents, and athletic abilities only instilled a thirst for more. They essentially turned me into the infamously driven, hyper-ambitious Cristina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy.

I am who I am because of my parents. They instilled the core values into me that I will forever strive to uphold. They helped me realize my full potential and not accept anything less than my absolute best. I will never be satisfied until I achieve what I know I am capable of. To some, this may sound tedious and cynical, but for Type A people like myself, it is exciting.

In the past, my go-getter personality cost me friendships because my continuous drive for perfection was not mutually shared. I was raised to view my colleagues as potential rivals rather than friends. I put logic and rationality over fun and the ability to empathize with people. It used to bother me when someone called me high maintenance or uptight. I remember blaming my parents for teaching me to prioritize my life so differently from all of my peers, and for the longest time, I thought I was a freak. Eventually, I learned to love and accept those adjectives because they are exactly what I want to be.

So here it is. Relaxing is hard work for me. Waiting in long lines kills me inside. I am an overachiever, a perfectionist, and a workaholic. I have a serious phobia of wasting time and I have an extremely low tolerance for incompetence. I am constantly talking over and interrupting people because I always have something to add. I put more energy into my academics and my job than I do in the majority of my relationships. I am a very fast paced person and people struggle to keep up with me, in conversation and on the highway ─ slow drivers are literally my kryptonite.

Regardless of all my highly cutthroat and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, they are distinctive to me. They are my identifiers; they make me who I am. In the most humble way that I can possibly say this, I have achieved so many amazing things in my life already and I am only twenty years old. Life is a joy ride for some and to others it is a competition. I was raised to view it as the latter and it has allowed me to obtain the goals that I have set before me. Am I satisfied with where I am in my life? No. Do I think I am perfect? Are you kidding ─ no.

If anyone reading this has parents like mine, please do not hate them. Looking back now, I would not have wanted my parents to raise me any different. My parents were only tough on me because they saw my potential before I did. Their ridiculously high expectations developed me into a woman I admire and taught me to always raise the bar higher. I owe absolutely everything to my parents ─ I dedicate all of my successes to them.